Obviously, I can’t have entitled this “Oh, MARTA #1,” because I’ve been chronicling MARTA fuck up stories for a few years now, but at the same time, I didn’t feel that this particular incident could just be summed up in the arbitrary numbers that I make up on the fly that make it sound like MARTA fucks up way more often than they actually do although it’s not really that much of a stretch to believe if they did.
So much like they do in comic books or any sort of regular periodical, I figure to just let’s just call this commemorative #100, because it truly was a MARTA incident that can’t simply be recognized with some made-up number.
As the story goes, since it all happened while I was overseas, the long-awaited implosion of the Georgia Dome, as covered by The Weather Channel, had their video feed utterly and completely ruined by a MARTA bus that just so perfectly timed its arrival into the shot right as the initial charges went off and the Georgia Dome came crumbling down. Usually, I like to believe that I’m capable of coming up with way better headlines and descriptions of events than popular media does, because I don’t have to play by the rules of censorship or any sort of policing. But when scuttlebutt declared the event as “The most Atlanta thing to ever happen” or something along those lines, I simply had to shake my head and just agree.
Seriously, I can’t really think of something more symbolic of Atlanta than a MARTA bus photobombing a momentous occasion. And you know the driver had no fucking clue of its actions, as it was probably some wage slave just doing their daily job, trying to keep to the schedule and continuing to move . . . people, routinely through Atlanta. But to the people at The Weather Channel who were completely banking on this footage, this was a cockblock that not even a Michael Cera film could have possibly executed.
They probably had all these plans, thought they had the perfect spot lined up in order to get the most head-on footage of the dome’s implosion. The cameraman himself was probably thinking about how they were going to include the footage in their personal reel for when they decide to jump ship to a Turner network or try to get into the burgeoning film industry in the state. All 12 viewers of The Weather Channel’s live feed of it were stoked to be watching their footage instead of the 5-6 other networks and local affiliates offering up live feeds of the implosion, or they weren’t working at a place in the city like mine that had a decent view of the site from the tops of their parking decks.
But honestly, the epic cockblock inadvertently done by the MARTA bus is probably the best thing to have ever happened for the city, the event, and MARTA itself. Had the event happened without incident, sure, a few people in Atlanta would talk about it on social media, but then quickly be forgotten until Instagram and Facebook remind people on the same day in ensuing years to remind them of it happening, or when it shows up in the AJC the next time a building is slated for implosion and they want to whip out a list of notable building implosions from yesteryears.
But because the MARTA bus did what it did in epic fashion, the shit went viral, and everyone in the world pretty much caught wind of it. Late night hosts started making jokes about it, news of the incident blew up all across social media and not just from those in Atlanta, and the thing became a massive meme that’s ultimately pretty innocuous and harmless in the grand spectrum of shitty things that happen on the internet. And all through it all, the names Atlanta, MARTA, Weather Channel and other entities are mentioned that probably like the idea of them being talked about, and not in just detrimental manners.
And to think the Weather Channel cameraman was freaking out about the blown coverage, when in the end, this was probably the best thing to happen to the careers of all parties involved. More people will remember the implosion of the Georgia Dome than ever would have had this not occurred, and it’s all thanks to the mindless task running of Atlanta biggest mobile punchline, MARTA, and they’ve given the world a pretty useful utilitarian meme that can be used just about anywhere in so many applications.